Is masterbation a mortal sin or a venial sin?

Is masturbation a mortal sin or a venial sin?


It depends . It is grave matter and there must be the three conditions filled for it to be a mortal sin.

  • Mortal sin is a sin of grave matter
  • Mortal sin is committed with full knowledge of the sinner
  • Mortal sin is committed with deliberate consent of the sinner
    It might take a couple talks with a confessor/spiritual director to discern.

For most people: Venial

How would you define “fully consent and knowledge”? The term is kind of vague. Sometimes we just masturbate when we get to a point of great sexual drive and we just can’t help ourselves. Is that a mortal sin in that case? What if sometimes we cannot control our sex drive and have premarital sex?

I doubt that seriously.

It is objectively grave matter. It is mortal unless the person either doesn’t know the Church teaching, or is so addicted they can’t stop.

I’d imagine that’s a pretty small subset of the world.

God Bless

Let’s ask the Catechism:

**2352 **By *masturbation *is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. “Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.” “The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose.” For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of “the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved.”

To form an equitable judgment about the subjects’ moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.

So…is it “grave matter”? Yes.

Is it done with full knowledge of the offense? Maybe yes, maybe no.

Is it done with full consent of the will? It depends.on several factors which must be taken into account.

God Bless,

Objectively - a mortal sin.

Subjectively - only your confessor can tell you whether it’s mortal or venial in YOUR INDIVIDUAL case. Once your confessor has spoken, it’s irrelevant what other people THINK is the case.

I agree, I would error on the side of it being a grave sin to be safe. A priest really should be making this decision…

What do you mean by “addicted”? We are all addicted somehow.

Biblically speaking, masturbation is a form of [mental] adultery, so it’s apparently mortal. But that’s just for the record.

I know this question was not directed at me, but keep in mind that, for the most part, masturbation is… natural for the teenage body. People get addicted to this quickfix to the point where it’s like a drug. It relieves stress which is what other drugs can do-- just no horrible side effects. :rolleyes:

Ironically Yours, Blade and Blood

Look at the third condition for something being a mortal sin:

Mortal sin is committed with deliberate consent of the sinner

Someone with a deep and profound addiction to something, may not be able to give their deliberate consent - precisely because of that addiction. Again, only the confessor can discern that in the confessional with the co-operation of the penitant.

Don’t the teenagers have to quit that addiction of masturbation? Should they indulge it because it relieves stress?


for the most part, masturbation is… natural for the teenage body.

I quite disagree. Sex is natural. Masturbation is false sex, just like bulimia is false eating.

There’s nothing “natural” about masturbation. Just because a particular misuse of our faculties is common that doesn’t make it “natural.”

God Bless,

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sigh It’s either that or premarital sex. :rolleyes: You only get a precious few teens who are actually still virgins. Thank God, I am one of them. :smiley:

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Quit masturbation? It depends. They really need to learn how to deal with their emotions. Find a hobby or hang out with some friends would be the best thing to do. :slight_smile:

Masturbation may relieve stress, but so does other things… just keep away from drugs, is all I ask. :wink:

Do you think premarital sex is natural?

Shouldn’t we keep ourselves away from masturbation? at least try to? It is a sin per se.

Well, it happens, that’s for sure. But I purely believe in sex after marriage for logical and health reasons, not religious reasons.

Sex, in general, is natural-- like that other dude said, but in Christian families (and families from other conservative faiths) frown upon it.

Let’s label it as the “Last Resort”, if you really think it’s that bad.